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There are a lot of things that are important to do once a year: scheduling an annual physical or paying taxes, for example. Most people begrudgingly get these tasks done — because, while sometimes dreaded, we all know they're important. And while some HR professionals argue the annual performance review at work fits into that "necessary evil" silo, there's a growing sentiment in the industry that the once-a-year face-to-face meeting between manager and employee is a has-been idea. It may be nothing more than a time suck, the thinking goes, and even worse, a way to alienate employees from each other and their managers.
The outdated annual review model does have the makings of a positive performance management tactic, however, Andrew Bateman recently wrote on Human Capital Institute. Some of its core elements — motivation, direction and performance improvement — are things managers should keep in mind and communicate with employees on a regular basis (not just once a year).
Bateman advises organizations to take these elements and create a "performance review 2.0" to fit with a company's culture and its overall goals for employees. This implementation, he suggests, must start with proper education of managers. Google's Project Oxygen, for example, has used company data from past reviews to understand what managers should know and how they can be of maximum service to employees and to Google. The project essentially tackles the question: Do managers matter?
In short, they do, but they need education to properly engage with direct reports in ways that are less formal and more education and open.
Photo: Can Stock